What Can You Do With a Nursing Degree 1
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What Can You Do With a Nursing Degree?

Have you ever wondered what the most wanted jobs in the United States of America are?Earning a degree in Nursing opens up new professional opportunities for you, and if you ever asked yourself how you can get a nursing degree and where you can work, then worry no more. In this article, we will talk about the different types of nursing degrees available, how to get a nursing degree, the kind of jobs available, and what you can do with your nursing degree besides nursing.

Different Types of Nursing Degrees

This section provides a guide on the different levels of nursing degrees, their differences, and what you can do with each one of them. Here, we will talk about the four main types of nursing degrees they include:

  • Associate degree in nursing (ADN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Ph.D. in nursing.

The main difference between the four is the time it takes to study and accomplish each certificate. As you move from an associate degree certificate to achieving a Ph.D. in nursing, you go deeper and get more details about what you study.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

We’ve got news for you guys here, so don’t sleep. First and foremost, associate degrees are undergraduate programs offered to students to gain clinical skills and core knowledge in their field of study. Registered nurses (RN) fall in this domain, and guys, can you believe they’re the most wanted in the area?. This is hilarious, isn’t it?. Anyways let’s go a little bit deeper. Statistics from the U.S Bureau of Labor forecasts a 9% increase in the level of RN professionals in the next decade. I bet you must be wondering what the duties of these guys are, aren’t you?. Don’t worry; we got you. We will discuss everything you’ll need to know about registered nurses below.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing increases your knowledge in the field. This degree builds a solid foundation in this field and prepares nurses to pursue diverse and stimulating healthcare professional careers. The bachelor’s degree program makes a solid rock for a wide variety of professional roles as a nurse.

Master of Science in Nurse

 These programs provide a wide variety of work opportunities available to graduates such as adult nurse practitioner (ANP), Neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP), Pediatric Nurse practitioner (PNP), Family nurse practitioner (FNP), Nurse educators (NE), Women health nurse practitioner (WHNP). They all earn a median salary range of about $ 60,000 to $150,000, depending on their specialty in countries like America. There are many benefits you can achieve from getting a master’s degree in nursing, and a few of them include higher pay, becoming a nurse-midwife, it makes you an expert in the field, you tend to gain more respect in your workspace, better work hours, becoming a mentor, etc.

Ph.D. in Nursing

This level prepares you for a nursing career in academic research projects. A few benefits that accompany you having a Ph.D. in nursing include starting your practice. It enables you to take administrative roles and can become a health care influencer. You can relieve the shortage of nurse educators since there is a dwindling supply, etc.

How to Get a Nursing Degree?

In this section, we will tackle the worry of how to get started on a nursing career. We’re going to discuss five steps you should consider on how to get a nursing degree, and they include:

Choose a Nursing Program

Knowing your career path to follow puts you on the first step toward being a registered nurse. However, the program you end up selecting will slightly influence your future career. There are a few factors to consider when choosing a nursing program in the United States of America. A few of them include; the type of technology available during training, job placement after graduation, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), etc. Now guys, let’s proceed to the various types of nursing programs available in the USA. They include:

The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Programs

They have approximately a one-year training program. Statistics from the US Department of Labor show that the median annual wage of a licensed vocational or practical nurse is $39,031. Their primary role is to provide direct patient care, such as monitoring patients, taking vital signs, etc.

Master of Science Nursing Programs (MSN)

There are so many different master’s degree programs offered in nursing. A few of them include masters of science in nursing education, nursing informatics, nursing leadership, etc. It will require you to be of great focus and be able to determine what your dream career is to get started. For example, if you want to venture into data analyses, then having a master of science degree in nursing informatics would work best for you. Or, let’s assume you want to risk towards management positions, then a master of science degree in nursing leadership would work best for you, etc.   

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

The duration in this section can take a year or two to complete. Associate degree programs are offered at many community colleges in the US. They focus on technical training, and they usually require students to complete prerequisite classes before enrollment. An ADN registered nurse can perform the following duties, they can provide emotional support to patients and family, can treat, can educate patients, etc. statistics from the US Department of Labor shows that they earn approximately $67,490 annually.

Doctor of Nursing Programs (DNP)

Doctorate programs in nursing are the highest level of degree programs offered in various institutions in the US. They are research-based programs, and they focus on training students in areas like leadership skills, data analysis, philosophy of nursing and history, etc. These degree programs last from two to three years of practical study, and graduates in this section earn over $135,831 yearly in the US.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Programs

Typically, it lasts about a year or two, and during this duration, students learn test theories, how to solve clinical problems, anesthesia techniques, etc. Nurses in this field can get some of the highest-paid nursing jobs earning over $160,000 to about $250,000 annually, depending on the state they work in.   

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

It is a four-year study program offered in many universities in America which encourages students to apply knowledge from studies in a practical healthcare setting. These sets of nurses are always in high demand. In cities like California, they earn over $120,560 monthly. In other cities like Alabama, they earn less ($60,230). The primary duties are to maintain vital medical records, implement nursing care plans, convalescent, assess patient health, provide preventive guide advice, introduce nurses to safety, health promotion, healthcare systems, etc.

Consider a Nursing Degree

Assuming you’ve finally decided to become a nurse, to get started, all you need to do is find a nursing program that’ll suit you and earn your degree. If only it were that easy. Honestly, there are many different levels of nursing degrees and specialties, credentials, and job titles underneath each umbrella. There is a specific path to follow and various credentials you’ll need to meet up to particular standards in this domain. In this section, we’ve created a handy guide to simplify things for you. We will start with the four primary levels of nursing degrees and their credentials. They include:

The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

To attain a degree here, you can start by getting a practical nursing diploma. It takes about a year to complete this program in the US and, after graduation, to receive your state license. You’ll be required to pass the National Council Licensure exams. You can add skills like IV therapy, childbirth, etc., to gain an edge in the job market.

Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Nursing assistants are not nurses. They serve as principal caregivers in residential care facilities and nursing homes. They earn a median annual salary of $30,830.  

Registered Nurse (RN)

To become one, you start by earning an associate degree in nursing, then get a bachelor of science in nursing.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)

APRNs have a wide variety of career choices. They can work both independently and with physicians. They perform all the duties of the RN. To get here, you need a master of science program. Having an idea of the nursing system gives you a better idea of which path to pursue. Keep in mind that the most common requirement you might encounter is completing the national council licensure examination to get your license and start working.

Apply for Nursing Programs

At this point, there are a few questions you should ask yourself that would serve as a guide to applying for the right program. A couple of them include, do they offer the right degree for the career you need?. If yes, can you afford the tuition fee? Access top-quality equipment? How well do students do in the licensing exams? Etc. Having an answer to all these questions will help you decide on the right thing to do. It might interest you to know that a handful of students these days look for an online option that allows them to pursue higher education levels while balancing other responsibilities in their lives like parenthood etc. Taking the online training option entails most non-clinical classes, and most of your clinical course work will be done by you in person.

Complete the Required Courses

Lower-level degrees will likely require you to have general knowledge of courses like math, anatomy, biology, chemistry, English, etc. At the same time, advanced degrees will probably have specific requirements and credits you’ll need to earn depending on your field. In addition, there are some steps you can apply to help you get accepted into the school you wish to attend. They include you considering volunteering or rendering community services in health care settings, consider submitting a letter for recommendations, etc. After you must’ve gone through this daunting process, moving forward, all you need to do is complete your required courses in school.

Take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)

This exam has two primary purposes, the first is to ensure that graduates are prepared to get started at work, and the second purpose is to issue them their license. Passing this exam is essential because it is the final step to your dream career. The exam is set to assess the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary for you to meet the needs of patients. You can retake this exam eight times a year. One of the best cities to complete your NCLEX-RN exams is New York City.

What Type of Nursing Jobs Are Available?

Here, we will discuss the five main nursing jobs available. They include:  

Registered Nurse

The role of a registered nurse is to monitor a patient’s medical plan and implement treatment, identify and assess the patient’s needs. They also supervise and direct nurses and nurse assistants, they research and implement ways to improve a patient’s health outcome, they consult doctors to decide on the most favorable treatment plan for patients, they perform diagnostic tests and physical examinations, they change wound dressings, administer medications and other treatment options, etc. Registered nurses work in rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, healthcare clinics, etc. Their job is to check the patient’s vital signs, give vaccinations, insert IVs (Individual Values), etc. To be an expert and excel in this field, you need to be good with teamwork, motivate and have compassion for others, etc. Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor project a 9% increase in the demand for registered nurses in the next decade.

Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical nurse specialists serve as nursing staff consultants and provide direct patient care services, and they play an active role in delivery systems and health care improvements. These guys are experts in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients. To be an expert in this domain, you need to read, follow and understand safety procedures, possess good communication, supervisory and evaluative skills, etc. Their salaries range from $79,500 to $128,500 alongside certain benefits like health and life insurance etc., in the United States.

Nurse Practitioners

These guys make the highest mean annual wage in California, and in places like Tennessee, they make the lowest. The highest-paid nurses in this domain are the certified registered nurse anesthetist earning up to $181,040 annually. Nurse practitioners are advanced registered nurse personnel with a higher educational level (master’s). There are many specialties you can pursue as a nurse practitioner. Examples include a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, etc.

Nurse Consultant

They evaluate and analyze factors related to nursing care and other health services. Some of their responsibilities include they provide risk-prevention methodologies, completing investigations for insurance companies, they develop claims against medical malpractices, they give unbiased opinions to determine legal merits, they obtain and reviewing CVs for background research, maintaining legal compliance adhering to federal state policies, they review claims from healthcare providers and customers on behalf of insurance companies. Some benefits related to this field include student loan repayment, professional development opportunities, etc. Nurse consultants have the following skills and qualifications: they include supervisory experience, perfect time management and organizational skills, listening skills, nursing skills, care assessment skills, etc. They earn $89,594 as an average yearly salary.

Research Nurse

They identify research questions, conduct and design scientific studies from which data is collected and analyzed, and report findings. Research nursing aims to locate and modify ways to control a specific existing health problem. The first two steps needed in nursing research are assessment (problem identification phase) and planning. Their salary earning potential depends on grants, experience, employer, location, etc. an average nurse researcher earns about $84,465 yearly.

Non Traditional Nursing Careers to Consider

Non Traditional students often share similar characteristics of being older, having a job or being in school at some point, and having families. We will explain a few non traditional nursing careers you can consider. They include:

RN Medical Writer

RN medical writers write for various purposes, and their responsibilities vary depending on the topic they’re writing on. They write for nurse textbooks, journals, healthcare websites, etc., for publication. Being an RN medical writer increases your IQ. It enables you to work from home, etc. they earn a mean salary of $95,000 in the USA. 

Camp Nurse

Depending on the camp they work in, their primary duty is to provide essential medical services like first aid to campers, monitor and oversee the administration of medications to their respective trailers, and advise their staff on sanitation, diseases, etc. They earn as much from $90 to $100 daily.

Forensic Nurse

They’re often called during a mass disaster or a community crisis. Forensic nurses in the USA frequently work in correctional institutions, hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, medical examiner’s offices, community anti-violence programs, etc. They serve as witnesses in legal matters, identify victims (dead or alive), and treat victims. Forensic nurses are specifically trained to help victims involved in human trafficking, violence, abuse, etc. The average annual salary for a forensic nurse is about $70,000.

Things You Can Do with a Nursing Degree Besides Nursing

 Explore careers in information technology (IT) and informatics.

This field focuses on a broad base of computer-related skills like networking, programming, mobile systems, ethics, security, data management, etc. let me burst your bubble. Did you know that informatics and information technology aren’t the same things?. Allow us to tell you what their main difference is. The main difference is that informatics develops and designs tools such as theorems, algorithms, systems, etc. At the same time, IT applies informatics and thus uses these tools to increase its effectiveness and efficiency. On average, they earn about $68,000annually.

Work for an insurance company.

The highest paying jobs in this sector includes: financial analyst ($104,421), actuaries ($161,759 annually), risk analyst ($104,421), insurance claims adjusters ($108,957), insurance underwriter ($108,957).

Consider a career in pharmaceuticals.

The best jobs you might want to consider in this field are: lab technicians, biomedical scientists, pharmacists, clinical research associates, biotechnology, engineering technologist, pharmacy manager, biostatistician, pharmaceutical sales representatives, etc

Consider non-besides nursing jobs.

Examples include flight nurses, health informatics, nurse midwife, nurse educators, nutritionist, pediatrics, expert witness, aesthetics, clinical nurse reader, oncology nursing, legal nurse consultant, rheumatologist, etc.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article was to provide a handy guide on the types of nursing degrees offered, the steps to follow on how to get a nursing degree, the various jobs provided in the field, non-traditional nursing careers to consider, and what a nursing graduate can do besides nursing. Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor project that the demand for RNs will grow by 12% in the next decade. This alone shows that it’s a profitable educational investment due to the high demand for professionals. Even though the future in the nursing career seems bright, keep in mind there are still many great things you can do with your nursing degree aside from nursing. Hopefully, you must’ve learned a thing or two with us that would stick with you throughout entering a career. Thank you for sticking with us to the end. We’re honored.